Having dealt his two main rivals a blow at Assen, momentum is back with Valentino Rossi as MotoGP 2015 reaches its midway point in Germany this weekend.
Rossi not only halted Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo's four-race win streak in Holland - just as the Spaniard was on the brink of snatching the title lead - but also inflicted a rare last-turn defeat on Honda's reigning champion Marc Marquez.
Challenging for a tenth world title in his 20th season, Rossi had the upper hand for much of the Dutch TT weekend, taking his first pole of the year with only Marquez able to match his pace in the race.
Their battle culminated at the final chicane, when Marquez dived for the inside and Rossi speared straight-on after the pair made contact.
Had it been a normal 90-degree corner Rossi's hopes of holding on to the lead would have been over. However the right-left-right Assen layout allowed him to cut across the gravel and still win the race - much to Marquez's annoyance.
Race Direction declared Marquez was perfectly entitled to try and pass Rossi, but that Marquez was not in front at any stage and, without the contact, Rossi would have remained on track. Therefore the result was unchanged.
While a repeat of the Marquez battle is a mouth-watering prospect this weekend, with the Repsol rider almost three race wins from the title lead, Rossi's championship focus must instead be on Lorenzo, just ten points adrift.
“I'm ready for Sachsenring and am going into this race weekend with a happy mindset,” Rossi said. “I managed to recover a bit of an advantage that I had lost in past races. Having a ten point lead after eight races is not bad, I'm very happy."
The Doctor, who credited a set-up breakthrough at the previous Catalunya round more than a new M1 frame for his Assen performance, added:
“Now we go to Germany and it will be very important to reconfirm how competitive we are. We understand that our competitors are working hard to return at the front and in Assen we succeeded in staying ahead. Marquez will probably be with us in the next races and we must be very careful with him.
“At Sachsenring my first goal will be to work as we have done in the Netherlands, starting from the first free practice. Jorge I'm sure will come back strong, making it even more important to work well this weekend.
“After Sachsenring there will be a break and it will be important to rest a bit before taking on the second part of the season.”
Rossi is a four-time MotoGP winner in Germany, although his most recent triumph was back in 2009, the year of his ninth world title. The #46 finished fourth in last season's race, which saw a bizarre pit lane start for much of the grid due to a drying track.
The performances of Rossi and Lorenzo have handed Yamaha six successive premier-class wins for the first time in the history of grand prix racing. It is also the first time that Yamaha have won seven of the opening eight races of the year.